Public sector PR

Awakening the Giant campaign


ESPO is one of the UK’s largest public sector buying organisations turning over around £1 billion in procurement activity per year, largely from its framework agreements but also £65 million in catalogue sales to schools and other public bodies. It’s a not for profit organisation, owned by six local authorities and supplying nationally. Although widely known to its traditional customer base of schools in the East Midlands, ESPO was one the public sector’s best kept secrets. It was time to ‘awaken the giant’; this public sector PR brief focused on making more organisations aware of the scale and breadth of the cost effective products and services ESPO provides. Key objectives to help raise ESPO’s profile were to:

Help it extend its reach beyond schools, to local authorities, the NHS and other public sector organisations.

Help spread understanding about how ESPO can help the public sector.

Educate its target markets on ‘better buying’.

Generate in-depth coverage in the highest quality target media.


We devised a strategy to generate regular, advisory and news focused stories in top public sector and regional titles.

We also came up with the ‘Awakening the Giant’ campaign to take ESPO from ‘zero to hero’ in media coverage terms.

And we launched ‘ESPO Super Spending Day’ generating two dedicated in-depth broadcast news features on the BBC.


It’s fair to say we’ve awoken the giant! From doing little media relations previously, ESPO has quickly established a voice in the media and many more public sector organisations are now aware of the sheer scale and depth of its offering. Our targeting of specific media outlets with advisory type articles has led to a raft of coverage for ESPO in the education and other public sector titles helping to position them as experts in the procurement of goods and services in this sector.

We’re extremely impressed with Skout; creative PR that delivers on message and doesn’t cost the earth

Claire Edwards

head of marketing & communications, ESPO